4th place 2023 – Rodrigues island (Mauritius)
Closing of octopus fishing in rodrigues island
GTI Awards 2023 – 4th place
Island (Region, Province, Country):
Rodrigues island – Mauritius
up to 50.000 inhabitants
Budget / cost of the project:
Roll out phase
Enable octopus stock to produce new recruits and to replenish the fishery.
Enhance the effectiveness of the management of octopus fishery.
To set the best practice example for sustainable tourism through an integrated collaborative approach between public, private and NGO’s.
Reduce fishing pressure in the lagoon.
Developing sustainable alternative income-generating activities.
Project description of activities and specific interventions:
In 1994, Mr. J.T Genave, a Rodriguan borne, did a research entitled “Growth, Reproduction Feeding Patterns and Stock Assessment of Octopus cyanea in Rodrigues and noted a severe depletion of octopus in the lagoon. Fishing method was bad and destructive to the ecosystem. Urgent measures needed to be taken to reduce pressure on the octopus stock.
In 2012, the Octopus Closed Season Local regulations was put in place and the first closure was from 13 August to 12 October 2012. The preparation of the monitoring plan and enforcement of the closure are done by the Fisheries Protection Service. which is the police force in charge of the fisheries control in the lagoon. Partners involved in the project are Rodrigues Regional Assembly, local fishers, National Coastguards, Environment Police, South East Marine Protected Area (SEMPA), NGO’s.
The fishers are involved in cleaning, restoration, monitoring and upgrading on different sites in different sectors such as Forestry, Tourism, Environment/Embellishment.
On-going and accurate monitoring of the resource. Enforcement of all octopus-related regulations during and out of closed seasons.
Public outreach, education and awareness efforts and results:
Public outreach: fishers, students, fishmongers, locals.
Education: Sensitization campaigns.
Consulting with all stakeholders before decision-making.
Communicating with all stakeholders before, throughout and after the closure.
Awareness raising amongst the fisher community and general population.
Results: Increased finfish catches as a result of less pressure on lagoon resources.
Economic value added and how calculated:
Octopus fishery income doubled in the 30 days after a closure.
Increase in average size of the individuals caught and average weight of octopuses doubled from 400g to 1kg.
Ecological and social project outcomes:
Promoting sustainable fisheries.
Reduction of pressure on the finfish fishery.
Protection of marine resources.
Better enforcement of regulations.
Developing sustainable alternative income-generating activities (fishers are involved in reforestation project during closing seasons).